John Dickenson

The inventor of the Modern Hang Glider in 1963


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The building of the Mk1 Replica Dickenson Wing at Grafton N.S.W. Summer 2006



It was built in it's final configuration with the nose plates to allow easy folding and with the A-Frame. A slight error was made with the sail. On the Mark I the Tubes of plastic were left whole and used at double thickness, where as in the Mark II they were split open and used as a single thickness. Banana Plastic was also used on some Mark III airframes.

Creating this replica produced many interesting problems. So many things have changed in the 43 years since the original was built. By far the most perplexing problem was the matter of Banana Bags. Apart from colour changes and newer plastics, modern banana bags no longer come as a continuous roll of plastic tube, the closest was a roll with perforations to make it easy to separate individual bags. People checked the back rooms of warehouses from Nambucca Heads to Cairns, the spirit of co-operation was encouraging but every lead failed to locate the required material.

This problem was only solved with the gracious help of Mr Doug Trenchard, of  OMNIpac, in Brisbane.

Doug Trenchard's response was truly helpful, although he did not have the material at hand he undertook not only to make a roll for the project, but to also research the matter so as to get a product as close to the original as possible. This sort of help is priceless in an enterprise like this, and the fact that the plastic was donated by OMNIpac after all this trouble makes it hard to know how to thank them enough.

OMNIpac has a website:

Amongst the many products they make are banana bags, information about their agriculture products is found at:

Prior to plastic bags being used for bananas, Hessian bags had been used. The plastic started to be used with an importer of stuffed toys, who had a lot of large plastic bags from the imported toys. He was driving through an area with banana plantations and, noticing the Hessian bags, wondered if it would be a good way to recycle his plastic bags of a similar size. The plastic bags worked well and the rest is history. I certainly had not expected to find stuffed toys playing a role in the invention of modern hang gliders.

On behalf of  Pat Crowe, John Dickenson, Rod Fuller and myself I wish to thank Doug Trenchard and OMNIpac for their generosity and efforts with this project, and to wish them the very best for the future.

Thank you,
Graeme Henderson

  Rod Fuller and John Dickenson
John Dickenson, Ann Fuller, Pat Crowe, Patricia Crowe, Rod Fuller John Dickenson, Jenny Massie, Rod Fuller, John Warrell, Graeme Henderson


The finished replica of the Mk1 Dickenson Wing

The Dickenson Wing and 40 years later a modern Hang Glider

Rod ......John ......Pat

The Grafton Jacaranda Festival 2006


After 40 years John relives his memories with the Replica Mk1 Dickenson Wing

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